As an employee of Eastern Washington University, you may encounter a situation in which a state or federal official or private process server enters your office and asks you to accept service of a legal document. You may also receive these legal documents by mail. Typically, this legal document is either a subpoena or service of process, summons and complaint.
Subpoena: A subpoena generally requires a person to provide testimony and/or documents (subpoena duces tecum) in connection with a legal proceeding, such as a deposition, court hearing or a trial. A subpoena is not a lawsuit against the university or the employee. Rather, it is simply a way of summoning a person who potentially has information relevant to a case, so that the information they have can be made available for the legal proceedings.
Summons and Complaint: A summons and complaint are the documents used to initiate a lawsuit. A summons will generally be accompanied by a complaint that describes the allegations on which the lawsuit is based.
What should I do if I am served with a subpoena or summons relating to university buisness?
You should notify the office of Civil Rights, Compliance and Enterprise Risk Management immediately and provide a copy of the subpoena or service of process. You should not accept a summons or subpoena that is addressed to, or on behalf of the university, department or another individual. The office of Civil Rights, Compliance and Enterprise Risk Management is authorized to accept service of process and subpoena's for the university.
If an attorney or process server asks how to serve a subpoena or summons to your office, the department of the university, you should direct them to the following offices:
Service of Process
Subpoena's & Public Records Requests
What if I improperly or accidentally accept service?
If you accept service of a subpoena or summons and complaint relating to EWU or receive such documents by mail or e-mail, please contact the Office Civil Rights, Compliance and Enterprise Risk Management immediately. These documents are often time sensitive.